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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 13 Apr 2010 (Tuesday) 05:14
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7D and 5D2 blowing faces at weddings ?

 
Pigsy
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Apr 13, 2010 05:14 |  #1

Hi Folks,
Having recently swapped my 2x40Ds for both a new 5D2 and a 7D I am totally dismayed to see that both cameras are over exposing peoples faces at weddings.
Nothing has changed in the way that I'm using my equipment, but when shooting a bride and groom, doing just about anything, I continually get faces that are 2-3 stops over exposed. So much in fact that I can't even recover the highlights, and that's me shooting Raw.
Everything else in the scene is perect, it's as if the flash has gone crazy and blasted the scene, instead of just filling in with flash. This is happening in both new bodies, and I'm using 580EXii flash units. Not on every picture by any means, just randomly, but more often that not.

Metering mode is evaluative, that's what I've always used, and never had an issue, and I'm using mainly the centre point focus.

I refuse to believe that I've got two duff bodies with the same fault, or that both of my flash units have developed the same fault all of a sudden.

I've obviously checked all the basics and obvious things - the flash exposure compensation is normal and I'm using the setup on ETTL. This happens on either Tv or Av the two modes that I use the most.

Sure, it seems to happen when the guys are wearing black (the case at every wedding!) and I accept that I'm quickly focussing on the jacket rather than actually on their face most of the time for speed, but again, I've always done it this way and with no issues. So I initially thought that the system was trying to get the black jacket to resemble 18% grey, but on the few occassions that I've deliberately focussed on their face, it has still done it !
What has changed?

Or, if your's works, what settings are you using focus, and metering wise

One last question, would I also be correct in saying that both of these bodies are way behind the 40D when it comes to finding focus on a black jacket in a dark room, ie the first dance ?

The 40D got focus every time, and never hunted, but even the 7D hunts the same scene with the same lens, when it gets darker.

Any advice is appreciated.

Jim..


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S2K.OGRAPHY
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Apr 13, 2010 05:27 |  #2

i hear spot metering is the only way to fly


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 05:58 |  #3

Hi Jim - sorry to hear about your aggravations.

I've been using the 5D Classic at weddings and events now for about four years. I don't experience the problems you've described very often, and I'm constantly dealing with black tuxedos and suits. Are you shooting in MANUAL mode and bouncing?

I rarely use Av, Tv and can't recall using P..... but that's just my style and others have gotten good results with theirs. I just find MANUAL mode to be FAR more consistent and reliable when I'm in reasonable stable light conditions, or in dark venues. In a dark room the meter is useless anyway. I use mostly evaluative when I due use the camera's meter - sometimes spot mode if trying to get a reading off stage lighting. I suspect it's something in your technique and not a gear malfunction.

You asked for shooting advide - at the average wedding or social event - like a PBS meet and greet reception I shot last week - I set my camera in MANUAL mode. If things are fairly dim, I'll use an ISO of 800 or maybe 1600. If it is pretty bright, an ISO of 400. Next, I drag the shutter to allow some ambient light to enter the picture. I'll use a shutter of somewhere between 1/40 - 1/80 depending upon how bright it is. This is why I recommend MANUAL settings.

Next, manually set your aperture to somewhere between f/5.6 - 8.0, again depending upon how much ambient light you have, and the DOF you want to achieve.... probably around 6.3 would be good.

Again, this is a manual setting. You are locking in your shutter and aperture. Have the flash set for AUTO. I have an old 580ex mounted on a bracket using the off camera card, typically bounced, with bounce card extended, "bare bulb," or maybe even a Stoffen if I'm in small tight quarters with a low ceiling. You've told the camera the manual settings you want, but the flash brain will figure out the amount to properly fill in for the subject.

Some flavor of these settings will always work as I've used them many times over the years with both film and digital.


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Apr 13, 2010 06:50 |  #4

Never had that issue, but I am using manual mode most of the time except when there's a really bad lighting situation with direct sun and shade within 30 seconds of each other in a one-time-only, fast-paced situation.


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 07:05 |  #5

Jim, I forgot to mention but the fact that you're quickly focusing - and metering - on the black jackets could be a major contributor to your exposure issue.

There's easly a 5-stop variation between a black tux and the average caucasian face. I also use center point AF, but will sometimes use the " * " to do a pre-flash off a midtone reflective value in the scene, and keep it locked that way for the shot. This could be a gray dress or guy's vest, neutral carpet, or even part of the groom's white shirt.

This is a long shot, but is it possible that you accidently dialed in some minus exposure compensation in the metering of the cameras?


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Apr 13, 2010 07:14 |  #6

Might be the exposure lock custom function?


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 07:46 |  #7

Excellent suggestion Joey - certainly that possibility and I hadn't even thought of. It's easy when mucking around in the CF's to sometimes experiment and "lose your place."

form wrote in post #9985335 (external link)
Might be the exposure lock custom function?


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Pigsy
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Apr 13, 2010 07:57 as a reply to  @ form's post |  #8

Hi Guys,

It's happened in manual mode too though ...
I'll never understand how you can all be bothered to shoot manual, I mean shoot Tv if the object is fast moving, or shoot Av if you're thinking DOF shots, or depending on how bad the light is, but constantly having to make adjustments as you move around in and out of light and or dark areas?
I've always found that concentrating on the moment, and capturing those special one off smiles etc, is waaaay beter than missing them due to having some manual setting dialled in that worked a few minutes ago.

Anyway, I'm going off topic.

It does happen in manual mode too, (not that I use it often though) I'm heavily leaning towards metering issues, but it's not a setting (just trust me on this) weeks of checking and triple checking all metering settings on both cameras, and comparing results.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that canon has totally changed the way that these bodies are metering things compared to the 40D.

So, 7D and 5D2 owners, what metering modes are you using to cover weddings ?

I can't see how spot metering works better, unless you're spot metering on their faces before firing, rather than mid torso ?

Why oh why can't they be the same as the 40D that only ever let me down with it's crap noise levels above 800iso ?

Jim..


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 08:48 |  #9

Well Jim, we shoot Manual because it's VERY consistent and will not be influenced by changes in lighting, reflected or incident.

I find that once I determine that setting, I leave it there and don't find the need to change it much at all. It actually frees me up to follow the action and watch the moment. Most of us who do it are NOT constantly changing adjustments. The fact is, if you are in Av at a modest aperture and the light drops, the camera will select a shutter speed that is way to slow for movement.

I totally agree it's a metering issue - but I'm leaning towards your technique as the explanation. Put up an example or two and we can analyze it for you. Many of us are pretty good at spotting issues like this ;)

Pigsy wrote in post #9985473 (external link)
Hi Guys,

It's happened in manual mode too though ...
I'll never understand how you can all be bothered to shoot manual, I mean shoot Tv if the object is fast moving, or shoot Av if you're thinking DOF shots, or depending on how bad the light is, but constantly having to make adjustments as you move around in and out of light and or dark areas?
I've always found that concentrating on the moment, and capturing those special one off smiles etc, is waaaay beter than missing them due to having some manual setting dialled in that worked a few minutes ago.

Anyway, I'm going off topic.

It does happen in manual mode too, (not that I use it often though) I'm heavily leaning towards metering issues, but it's not a setting (just trust me on this) weeks of checking and triple checking all metering settings on both cameras, and comparing results.
.....Jim..


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CyberDyneSystems
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Apr 13, 2010 09:13 |  #10

Check histogram, and then dial in needed -EC or set exposure lower.
No two cameras meter/expose alike IMHO.


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jonwhite
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Apr 13, 2010 11:18 |  #11

Flash works very differently depending on what mode your shooting in, this is a good read to get an understanding of it

http://photonotes.org …/index2.html#pr​ogramflash (external link)

Its not an answer to your specific problem but will hopefully help you understand what the cameras doing and get you closer to the solution.


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RT ­ McAllister
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Apr 13, 2010 12:35 as a reply to  @ Pigsy's post |  #12

I'll never understand how you can all be bothered to shoot manual,

But now that you have problems it should be clear why you want full manual control over your exposures in tricky light. :D

First... you are correct. It's much easier to shoot in semi-auto mode (Av, Tv) for those fleeting shots but not always possible because the camera meters these scenes wrong.

But in manual mode you can nail it if you're quick enough. Just point your lens at something neutral (non-contrasty) and dial in the center point on the exposure meter. Then point at your subject's face and shoot. The meter will be a few stops to the left/right but that's what you want because your camera was metering all kinds of mixed light surrounding the face to begin with. It only takes a second or two.

After a while, you can easily do this even in Av/Tv mode by anticipating what portions of the scene are going to get blown out and just move the exposure a few stops to the right/left without metering at all.




  
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tim
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Apr 13, 2010 16:45 |  #13

I didn't notice a big difference between my 40D's and my 7D. I use partial metering, I check the histogram to check the exposure, then I use FEC to set the flash how I want. Manual gives you more control, and most of the time I can set the exposure then not mess with it for a little while at least. For some rapidly changing situations I still use Av or even P mode, but that's about 5% of a wedding.


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ChasWG
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Apr 15, 2010 00:33 |  #14

I know this doesn't involve a wedding, but last weekend I was shootin my daughters soccer team for the first time this year and as usual, I've got the camera set to manual. Normally this isn't an issue, dial it in and shoot it up. But because it was outdoors and because the clouds were drifting in and out and the action is fast, I messed up a number of shots. Normally I shoot outdoor sports in Ap mode. I set a shollowish DoF (f5 or f5.6 on my 70-200 f4L), set the focus tracking to AI Servo and the let the ambient light get taken care of by the camera. It's never a problem getting action stopping fast shutter speeds in most situations. And if need be, just bump up the ISO to 200 and you're well into all the SS you'll need outdoors.

It seems odd to have to remember to go back to Ap mode after shooting everything else in manual for so long, but they put those knobs with all the settings on the camera for a reason.

Now indoor basketball is totally shot in manual mode, no if, ands or but about it. Constant light, constant SS and A.


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tim
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Apr 15, 2010 01:21 |  #15

ChasWG wrote in post #9997989 (external link)
I know this doesn't involve a wedding, but last weekend I was shootin my daughters soccer team for the first time this year and as usual, I've got the camera set to manual. Normally this isn't an issue, dial it in and shoot it up. But because it was outdoors and because the clouds were drifting in and out and the action is fast, I messed up a number of shots. Normally I shoot outdoor sports in Ap mode. I set a shollowish DoF (f5 or f5.6 on my 70-200 f4L), set the focus tracking to AI Servo and the let the ambient light get taken care of by the camera. It's never a problem getting action stopping fast shutter speeds in most situations. And if need be, just bump up the ISO to 200 and you're well into all the SS you'll need outdoors.

It seems odd to have to remember to go back to Ap mode after shooting everything else in manual for so long, but they put those knobs with all the settings on the camera for a reason.

Now indoor basketball is totally shot in manual mode, no if, ands or but about it. Constant light, constant SS and A.

Just use ISO400, the quality's much the same as 100. Also I think you mean Av mode.


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7D and 5D2 blowing faces at weddings ?
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